Ainge bounced back with a strong showing in the Senior Bowl, so his stock continues to rise and fall like the Dow-Jones Industrial Average.
Pete Fiutak, respected columnist for Collegefootballnews.com, ranks the former Vol No. 8 among the quarterbacks available for the upcoming NFL Draft and lists him in a category called "Potential NFL Starters" in a recent CFN.com article entitled "2008 NFL Draft – Rating the Quarterbacks."
Here's the segment on Ainge:
8. Erik Ainge, QB Tennessee
Think a less awkward Bernie Kosar. While he doesn't have the rocket arm the NFL types would like and he's not mechanically sound enough to be a star, he could be the type of backup quarterback who sits on a bench for two years, comes in and has a huge four game stretch, and then cashes in on the free agent market. No, he's not going to throw a pea through a cement wall like a Joe Flacco, but he proved at Tennessee under offensive coordinator David Cutliffe that he could get the ball in a position for his receivers to do big things. He had a great receiving corps as a junior and was fantastic. He had a developing, young receiving corps as a senior and he was even better. He makes his receivers look better than they actually are.
CFN Projection: Fourth to Fifth Round
Fiutak's top 10 quarterbacks are as follows:
6. Joe Flacco, Delaware (2nd)
8. Erik Ainge, Tennessee (4th to 5th)
9. Josh Johnson, San Diego (4th to 5th)
10. John David Booty, Southern Cal (late 3rd)